News - May 2020

Artist in Residence collaborates with Criminologist

ArtsKeele and Keele University’s Institute for Social Inclusion (KISI) have established a partnership to explore how artists and academics can collaborate to inform and develop ways of reframing and reclaiming terms such as social exclusion, vulnerability and resilience in a particular social setting, namely contemporary North Staffordshire.

The residency will open up the opportunity for collaboration and the exchange and creation of knowledge between the artist and academics at KISI, which will then inform creative critical responses to the Institute’s themes of Tackling Inequalities and Supporting Communities.

The residency will take place between May 2020 to Spring 2021.

Project team

Artist in Residence
Bohdan Piasecki is a poet, working primarily in performance, with strong interest in cross-cultural, multilingual work, and in projects co-designed with communities - using conversation, games, and other forms of social interaction as a way to generate poetry and other art. Over the course of the project Bohdan will spend time with communities and engage them with the exchange of ideas and stories; offer support in creative development to those who may be interested; create spaces for people to speak as themselves; and write new poetry.

Bohdan Piasecki said: “This opportunity aligns extremely well with my priorities and interests. The project is creatively interesting for me as it investigates a subject in which I have a particular interest as an immigrant in a very precarious time, and the conditions create a fantastic environment for such work. Because of its relatively long duration, we have the chance to forge real connections with participating communities and create work with them, rather than about them, or as so often happens - at them.”

Keele Institute for Social Inclusion
Keele Institute for Social Inclusion aims to draw together a vibrant community of partners across sectors to tackle the issues of inequality on a local, national and global scale. The Institute promotes and supports a wide range of interdisciplinary research, co-created with external partners, that seeks to identify, explain and overcome social, economic, political and cultural obstacles to egalitarian respect and social inclusion.

Dr Tony Kearon and Dr Samantha Weston are a Senior Lecturers in Criminology at Keele University and part of Keele Institute of Social Inclusion. Tony, Sam and Bohdan will work together in collaboration with local residents, communities and organisations to explore our assumptions about vulnerability and what it means to be labelled as 'vulnerable.

Professor Derek McGhee, Director of KISI, said: “We are extremely excited about this collaboration with Bohdan. Through the collaboration Keele Academics Tony Kearon and Sam Weston will embark on a journey with Bohdan to get under the skin of terms such as resilience and vulnerability, which have come under even more scrutiny during the Pandemic. The Collaboration is part funded by ArtsKeele, KISI and through our UKRI Enhancing Place-Based Partnership Award.”

ArtsKeele forms the hub of creative arts activity at Keele University. The team are involved in supporting the development and management of Excavating Vulnerability. In Excavating Vulnerability ArtsKeele are specifically interested in the interplay between academic research and artistic practice and the collaboration between community and Institute.

If you would like to find out more or get involved please contact Kerry Jones, Development Manager for Arts & Public Engagement on

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